How to vote


If you are on the electoral register you will be sent a poll card just before an election. You can vote:

  • In person
  • By post
  • By proxy

Voting in person

White poll cards are issued to electors who vote in person at a polling station, and this card will state where your polling station is and when you can vote. On the day of the election you should go to your designated polling station between 7am and 10pm to cast your vote. Tell the staff inside the polling station your name and address so that they can check you are on the register and eligible to vote.  It is helpful to bring along your poll card but it is not essential if you don’t bring it along.

Voting by post or proxy

Applying to vote by post

  • Download and print your own form

If you want to vote by post an application form is available to download and print here.

You must complete the application form in full using black ink, providing your signature and date of birth.  This information is needed to prevent fraud. Special arrangements are in place if you’re unable to provide a signature. Please call us on 0800 393 783 for further details. If you have chosen to vote by post you will receive a purple poll card.

Due to COVID-19 our offices are currently closed and we are using an external scanning bureau to handle postal vote application forms. You will receive a business reply envelope if you request a paper application form to be sent to you. The business reply envelope will be addressed to Highland & Western Isles ERO, PO BOX 1358, Warrington, WA4 9UP.

If you would prefer, you can return the completed application form to any of our offices by post or by email to – we can only accept black & white clear scanned images under 10MB.  Contact details can be found here

Royal Mail Priority Post Boxes

Royal Mail has 35,000 priority post boxes.  These post boxes have late collection times and in many cases will also have earlier collection times.  To find a priority post box in your area please click on the link below:

Priority Post Boxes

  • Request a paper application to vote by post

If you are unable to download the application form, a postal vote can be posted to your home address or any other address specified by you, including overseas. For a paper form please call us on 0800 393 783 or email us at

IMPORTANT: You will need to consider if there would be time for you to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you have been sent a postal vote, you cannot vote in person at a polling station.

Applying to vote by proxy

You can also arrange to vote by proxy at a particular election or referendum, meaning another person is authorised to vote on your behalf. A signature and date of birth are also required for proxy voters.

Apply to vote by proxy

Alternatively call us on 0800 393 783 to request a paper application form to be posted to you.

Emergency Proxies

In some circumstances, an emergency proxy may be granted by the Electoral Registration Officer if you are unable to vote in person because you:

  • Have a medical emergency
  • Learn you cannot go to the polling station because of work reasons

and you only became aware of this after 5pm, on the sixth working day before the poll.   You can apply up until 5pm on the day of the poll.

From 23 September 2020, emergency proxies for Scottish elections have been extended.  If you are self-isolating and unable to vote in person at your polling station as a result of government or medical practitioner advice which you became aware of after 5pm, on the sixth working day before the poll, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy (someone else voting on your behalf). You can apply until 5pm on the day of the poll. Both you and your proxy must be registered and eligible to vote.

Application forms for emergency proxies can be found in our list of applications below.  Details of how to return your form can be found on the notes pages of the application forms.

If you have a learning disability, you can follow the step-by-step easy read guide on how to register to vote online.